Markham residents upset after piles of garbage illegally dumped near plaza
Courtney Greenberg, CTV News Toronto
Published Thursday, July 13, 2017 6:05PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, July 14, 2017 9:43AM EDT
Debris has been piling up for months beside a Markham plaza -- and residents say they’re frustrated that no one is cleaning up the garbage that has been illegally dumped.
“Just yesterday I just received a resident complaint that garbage was piling up on the postal box here and animal waste was being found,” said Markham Coun. Amanda Collucci.
Garbage bags and discarded furniture are also littered at the back of the plaza, located at Markham Road and Castlemore Avenue. The city in general has received between 50 and 75 illegal dumping complaints this year.
“Aesthetically for the plaza it's not good and at certain times when it's really hot outside it starts to stink,” said a resident who wanted to remain unnamed.
Those who do the dumping or property owners who don’t clean it up can face fines up to $50,000 for a first offence (despite signs that say the maximum amount is $5,000), according to Markham’s bylaw and regulatory services manager Chris Alexander. The minimum fine for a first offence is $300.
“(Property owners) often become the victims in cases like this. Obviously the person who dumped it has committed the offence and unfortunately as a property owner whether it be the city, or in this case, the private owner, they're responsible for the cleanup or incur the costs,” said Alexander.
The city suspects the illegal dumping is being done by locals or trade workers trying to evade disposal fees. A clean-up order was issued to the owners of the development site, CIM Developments, in June. But it has now expired.
“Part of our process would be to notify them if their order has expired, and give them one last chance to clean up the property,” said Alexander, “and if they don't, we'd go in to do the work.”
Officials at CIM Developments told CTV News Toronto they are “in the process” of cleaning up the site.